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Midwest troutbum

Fishing At Ha Ha Tonka State Park

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Would anyone know if fishing is allowed at the Ha Ha Tonka spring, and if so, has anyone caught a trout in these waters? I have heard before the Bagnell dam was built it was run as a private trout park. The parks waters ran into ozark smallmouth streams that were likely the best in the state at the time. Comparable to the Current river or better. Last time I visited the park 10 years ago as a young adult, the waters had lunker sized trout. Would love to see some picks of the streams or area before the dam was constructed.

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Would anyone know if fishing is allowed at the Ha Ha Tonka spring, and if so, has anyone caught a trout in these waters? I have heard before the Bagnell dam was built it was run as a private trout park. The parks waters ran into ozark smallmouth streams that were likely the best in the state at the time. Comparable to the Current river or better. Last time I visited the park 10 years ago as a kid, the waters had lunker sized trout. Would love to see some picks of the streams or area before the dam was constructed.

Yep, fishing is allowed, and I have caught trout there. But not in recent history. 25 to 30 yrs back it was possible to catch a trout or two. mainly browns in the 80's, but rainbows long before that. I fished the private waters, called Trout Glenn, back in the 60's. As for lunker trout 10 yrs ago, sorry they were just suckers that inhabit the spring. The spring is also home to the endangered mad tom catfish, and a few perch and small bass. A publication called , "Before the Dam Waters", has pictures and a history of the region. My family is among some of the early settlers here, coming to Praire Hollow around 1820.

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Yep, fishing is allowed, and I have caught trout there. But not in recent history. 25 to 30 yrs back it was possible to catch a trout or two. mainly browns in the 80's, but rainbows long before that. I fished the private waters, called Trout Glenn, back in the 60's. As for lunker trout 10 yrs ago, sorry they were just suckers that inhabit the spring. The spring is also home to the endangered mad tom catfish, and a few perch and small bass. A publication called , "Before the Dam Waters", has pictures and a history of the region. My family is among some of the early settlers here, coming to Praire Hollow around 1820.

Thanks for the info and history introduction laker. I am a sucker for MO history. I assume Trout Glenn was where the water bubbles out of the base of the hillside spring in the upper section? I could imagine this stream ran at least to where the current lake level cove meets the main channel? Beautiful bluff lined stream, like something out of a movie... Iv'e been told some of the stacked rock dam walls from the trout park runs are still submerged near where the no wake zone begins. But again, this is all second hand info... its been at least 10 years, probably more like 15, and Iv'e visited many springs since then... they all start to blend together after a while. I will have to look into finding the publication and look for the photos you mention. The Ozarks are a beautiful part of the state and an asset to everyone.

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Thanks for the info and history introduction laker. I am a sucker for MO history. I assume Trout Glenn was where the water bubbles out of the base of the hillside spring in the upper section? I could imagine this stream ran at least to where the current lake level cove meets the main channel? Beautiful bluff lined stream, like something out of a movie... Iv'e been told some of the stacked rock dam walls from the trout park runs are still submerged near where the no wake zone begins. But again, this is all second hand info... its been at least 10 years, probably more like 15, and Iv'e visited many springs since then... they all start to blend together after a while. I will have to look into finding the publication and look for the photos you mention. The Ozarks are a beautiful part of the state and an asset to everyone.

The spring originally was a grist mill called gunther mill and gunther spring. The concrete walls were constructed for the mill. Trout Glenn came about after the lake was filled, and more concrete walls were constructed to separate the lake from the spring water. A waterfall on either side of the island allowed the water to dump into the lake. Trout Glenn had a resturant and a guest lodge in addition. A popular spot for the well to do in the lake and surrounding areas. Trout Glenn came about long after the mill and the castle. The dam you speak of can still be seen when the lake level is 10 to 12 feet low. It will be about 5 feet underwater at this point. When I was young, and the lake level was around 643, my father walked across the dam with me on his shoulders. We would cross over and look for artifacts. I have seen the dam above water twice in my lifetime. The lake was filled in 1931 and before that, loggers would raft timbers to old linn creek and camp bagnell, and other areas farther downstream. Ha Ha Tonka comes from the osage indian language, and I am told means laughing waters.There is several years of history associated with that area. I have spent countless hours exploring and wandering around what is now the state park. Growing up I lived a rifle shot away on the hill that overlooked the castle.

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The spring originally was a grist mill called gunther mill and gunther spring. The concrete walls were constructed for the mill. Trout Glenn came about after the lake was filled, and more concrete walls were constructed to separate the lake from the spring water. A waterfall on either side of the island allowed the water to dump into the lake. Trout Glenn had a resturant and a guest lodge in addition. A popular spot for the well to do in the lake and surrounding areas. Trout Glenn came about long after the mill and the castle. The dam you speak of can still be seen when the lake level is 10 to 12 feet low. It will be about 5 feet underwater at this point. When I was young, and the lake level was around 643, my father walked across the dam with me on his shoulders. We would cross over and look for artifacts. I have seen the dam above water twice in my lifetime. The lake was filled in 1931 and before that, loggers would raft timbers to old linn creek and camp bagnell, and other areas farther downstream. Ha Ha Tonka comes from the osage indian language, and I am told means laughing waters.There is several years of history associated with that area. I have spent countless hours exploring and wandering around what is now the state park. Growing up I lived a rifle shot away on the hill that overlooked the castle.

Thanks for the insight and history!

Any idea as to why Trout Glenn closed and how the State Park system acquired the lands?

I remember as a kid staying a our cousins lake house. It has been in the family at approx 50 years, near where Old Kinderhook GC is now. I remember when Old Kinderhook was an old run down estate, lots of wildlife, a few farm fields lined the road and typical MO hardwood forest. Very few condos, mega resorts, marinas. etc. The entrance was a gravel road.... not to many years ago.

We visited Ha Ha Tonka each summer, and I always thought the trails had some of the best views at all of the lake.... even some of the best in MO....I can only imagine what the area must have looked like in the different eras.... Very few mega developments in that part of the lake back then to spoil the panorama. The smaller family owned and operated businesses along the major highways and in town added a lot of character to the lake.... Many are now unfortunately distant memories, to make way for progress, but I guess thats part of economic growth and job growth at work. Now the lake must be in the bust cycle era of the mega resort and shopping boom.

I'll have to look a bit closer and spend some time on the history of this area next time at the library or at the lake. Sure would have been nice if the park system re-built some of the historical trout establishment stream and runs at this state park.... I suspect managed lake levels of today are a major contributing factor to the relatively short distance spring stream to the main cove.....Many likely disagree with my opinion of managing this state park, as it is not a very popular view on the matter amongst the traditional lake boating culture, and is so close to trout waters in the south part of the state. But it's my two cents worth from an outsider....A trout fisherman can only dream...

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Trout Glenn was owned by a gentleman named Miller. He had no rearing facilities that I am aware of. All of the trout must have been shipped in. The resturant and the lodge closed down in the early 60's, and about ten years later, as i recall, Mr. Miller passed away. It was inherited by his daughter and was later sold to the state. The spring and all of the out buildings were allowed to run down, and later tore down by the state. We still caught trout for a few years following Miller's death, and in the 80's some brown trout appeared in the spring branch. No one is sure where they came from. My brother in law, Mike Parker, caught one near six lbs, and I heard of one at seven lbs being caught. Most were kept like the rainbows, and as far as I know they were caught out. You mentioned the kinderhook property where your cousin lived. I have wandered those ridges and valleys also. A family by the name of Ebinstein owned alot of the property there, and their property was sold to the kinderhook people who built the golf course. Also the name kinderhook was used prior to the name Camden for the county. Like you, i always wanted the state to continue the trout fishing.

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Sometime during the early '80s, the MDC first tried stocking browns in the Niangua River. They are tolerant of somewhat warmer water than are rainbows, and I remember catching a couple of them below Tunnel Dam. Maybe that's where the browns in the spring hole came from.

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Sometime during the early '80s, the MDC first tried stocking browns in the Niangua River. They are tolerant of somewhat warmer water than are rainbows, and I remember catching a couple of them below Tunnel Dam. Maybe that's where the browns in the spring hole came from.

Could very well be there Bill.

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